Captain of the United States’ victorious women’s football team, Megan Rapinoe, has been the subject of possible hate crime after posters featuring the World Cup-winning star were vandalized with homophobic slurs.
A series of posters featuring Rapinoe were defaced at a Manhattan subway station and reported on Monday, just one day after the player and her teammates had won the World Cup for the U.S. in France.
Openly-gay Rapinoe finished the tournament as the top scorer and has had a high-profile run-in on Twitter with U.S. president Donald Trump after she declared she wouldn’t be going to “the f*cking White House,” if invited.
She later appeared on CNN and addressed Trump directly down the camera lens, telling him that he needed to do better, and that his message “is excluding people.”
A spokesperson for New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority said the defaced posters had been referred to NYC police, saying: “Hate has no place in the transit system and we work hard to make the subway a welcoming, safe environment for everyone.
“We referred this to NYPD which responded to investigate, our maintenance teams got the posters cleaned and we will have them replaced with new ones if necessary.”
After the team’s victory parade in the city on Wednesday, Rapinoe addressed the crowds, saying: “This is my challenge to everyone: We have to be better. We have to love more. Hate less. We got to listen more and talk less. It’s our responsibility to make the world a better place.”
But that message wasn’t enough for some, with former Trump advisor Sebastian Gorka slamming the team, saying: “They’ve gone insane, and they want to destroy everything that is wholesome in our country and in our Judeo-Christian civilization.”